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Category: Conference Negotiating Inner worlds and outsider perspectives in supportive relationships following stroke: Professional knowledge versus subjective experience.

February 6, 2019

Room 305 of the UCL Department of Experimental Psychology
26 Bedford Way

This is to let you know that a Wednesday February 6 meeting of the London Neuropsychoanalysis Group will be held at 6pm in Room 305 of the UCL Department of Experimental Psychology at 26 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, London, WC1H 0AP.

The Speakers

Mr Gerry Byrne, Consultant Child Psychotherapist and Stroke Survivor

Professor Uno Kischka, Former Consultant in Neurological Rehabilitation and Stroke Survivor

Dr. Giles Yeates, Clinical Neuropsychologist and son of Stroke Survivor

The topic

Negotiating Inner worlds and outsider perspectives in supportive relationships following stroke: Professional knowledge versus subjective experience.

About the topic

Stroke and other forms of acquired neuro-disability are characterised by counter-intuitive, strange and profound changes to experience, functioning, roles and life perspectives. The shared process of forming a supportive relationship between a clinician and survivor is necessarily a meeting of an (invited) outsider bringing an external vantage point and knowledge base (from learned concepts and professional experience of trying to be a useful outsider) and someone who is living and experiencing from within, trying to afford meaning to often confusing and unexpected phenomena. Neuro-rehabilitation research on awareness of disability and self-body-other relationships has drawn attention to the complex ways in which subjective, 2nd and 3rd-person perspectives can unfold and contort following a neurological lesion, presenting simultaneous challenges to the joint search for meaning and understanding for both survivors and those supporting them.

This presentation is a dialogue between two professionals of the mind who are also stroke survivors (Mr Gerry Byrne, a Consultant Child Psychotherapist and stroke survivor, and Professor Udo Kischka, who was a Consultant in Neuro-rehabilitation working with stroke and other forms of ABI, until he had a stroke himself in October 2016) and a clinical neuropsychologist (Dr Giles Yeates), who has been walking alongside and supporting both in their post-stroke journeys. Each presenter will contrast both the contributions and limitations of professional knowledge versus subjective experience as part of this shared work. Mr Byrne will speak to his experience of discontinuity in the self, of helplessness in the face of the sudden inharmoniousness of the complexity of the world post-stroke (see Bion in Learning from Experience, p 72) and the bringing of new order through allowing support through psychotherapy and subsequently seeking support in relationships. Professor Kischka will juxtapose his former medical knowledge of common post-stroke phenomena (hemiparesis, fatigue, initiation difficulties). Finally Dr Yeates will draw attention to his sense of limitations in his knowledge base, his experience of such as a clinician, and contrast these with other forms of knowing available to him within the psychotherapeutic encounter with stroke survivors and also as a son following his mother’s stroke.

About the Speakers

Gerry ByrneConsultant Nurse and Child Psychotherapist

Gerry Byrne is Head of Attachment and Perinatal Services for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, including the Family Assessment & Safeguarding Service (FASS Oxford, Wiltshire and Bath & North East Somerset), the Infant Parent Perinatal Service (IPPS) and the ReConnect Service (Buckinghamshire). The FASS and ReConnect services offer multidisciplinary, expert witness assessments and NHS treatments for severe parenting problems, including child abuse and neglect (physical, sexual, psychological maltreatment, and fabricated and induced illness). Gerry is also Clinical Lead for Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy for the Trust for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. He is the originator of the Lighthouse Mentalization Based Treatment-Parenting Programme, an innovative application of MBT, which aims to prevent child maltreatment by promoting sensitive caregiving in parents. He has trained clinicians in the programme in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Australia.

Gerry is a MBT trainer and supervisor for the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and co-runs with the centre MBT trainings in London, Ireland, and further abroad and regularly teaches MBT Skills in Ireland and the UK. He has a long-standing interest in literature and has run conferences and conversations bringing together people from the worlds of literature, art and psychotherapy/psychoanalysis. He is author of a children’s picture book, All at Sea, published by Walker about a little boy who has bad dreams following the arrival of a new baby.


Professor Udo Kischka MD FRCPNeurologist and Consultant in Neurological Rehabilitation

I studied Medicine and Psychology at the Universities of Amsterdam and Heidelberg and qualified as a Psychologist in 1979 and as a Medical Doctor in 1984. I then did my clinical training as a Neurologist at the University Hospitals of Basel, Switzerland and Heidelberg, Germany.  I worked for two years as a Research Fellow at the Harvard - M.I.T. Division of Health Sciences and Technology in Cambridge, Mass., USA, and at the Dept. of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, Mass, USA.

In 1995, I became a Consultant in Neurorehabilitation at the Rehaklinik Rheinfelden Rehabilitation Centre, Switzerland and in 1998 a Consultant in Neurological Rehabilitation at the Rivermead Rehabilitation Centre, later renamed the Oxford Centre for Enablement (OCE) at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

I held an honorary Senior Lectureship and Research Fellowship in the Dept. of Neurology, University of Oxford and visiting Professorships with the Universities of Basel, Oxford Brookes and Hertfordshire.

I have also served as an International Adviser and Fellow for the Royal College of Physicians London, as a Clinical Adviser to the Healthcare Commission, and as a Clinical Adviser to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Following a major stroke in October 2016, I suspended my professional activities.


 Dr Giles YeatesPrincipal Clinical Neuropsychologist

Dr Giles Yeates is a clinical neuropsychologist and couples therapist working in the Community Head Injury Service, Buckinghamshire, and in private practice. He has undertaken core/basic trainings in Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy, Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy and Mentalization-Based Therapy. His clinical work focuses on emotions and relationships following acquired brain injury (such as traumatic brain injuries and strokes), working with individuals, couples, families and groups. As a researcher he studies the impact of both neurological damage and social factors on emotional connections between people (the “Social Cognition, So What?” research programme) and as a clinician he uses this research to develop and adapt individuals, couples, family and group therapy approaches to increase closeness and connection following brain injury.

He is an internationally-invited and keynote speaker on this topic and a past International Neuropsychoanalysis Fellow. He has written several articles, chapters and edited books, and is co-author of “A Relational Approach to Rehabilitation: Thinking about Relationships after Brain Injury”, one of the first relationship-orientated texts on brain injury, editor of the Routledge Brain Injury book series, and is editor of “Neuro-Disability & Psychotherapy” journal/book series.

Giles’ mother sustained a series of haemorrhagic strokes and died in 2016, during which time he went through a short but painful journey as a son during his mother’s life, and the longer journey since in which he is still negotiating the ripples and echoes of this time within his own experience and wider family relationships.